When choosing a rabbit, find out his age. Do not buy a pet if he is less than 1.5 months old. A good little rabbit – of average fatness, not sluggish, not drowsy. The pet’s coat should be without bald spots, shiny, the skin should not be swelling, abscesses.
The choice of breed of decorative rabbits for beginner rabbit breeders
Decorative rabbit breeds can be kept in the apartment. It is better to choose short-haired breeds in order to spend less time on grooming pets. The rabbit “lop-eared ram”, which has long hanging ears, is especially popular. Decorative rabbits are devoted to their owners, do not spoil furniture, live long, they do not need to be walked every day, they are pleasant to touch, they behave quietly. The life span of a decorative rabbit is 12 years. You can castrate such a rabbit at an early age, and then keeping such a pet at home will not bring problems.
The following are breeds of ornamental rabbits:
- Shorthair colored dwarfs with a shiny hair and small ears;
- Rex rabbits with plush wool;
- "Lop-eared rams" with a calm character and drooping ears;
- Angora dwarfs with fur up to twenty centimeters long (good care for such wool is required).
- For beginner rabbit breeders, it is better not to start a hermeline, because the females are rather complicated. Males hermeline (white ornamental rabbit or ermine) have a great coat, but due to the fact that the coat is very dense, it is difficult for them to tolerate the increased air temperature in the apartment, and the nature of their hemeroline is extremely lazy.
The basics of keeping a decorative rabbit
The content of a decorative rabbit requires a serious approach, responsibility and considerable knowledge of care. The key rule is to initially purchase the cage and the necessary equipment, and only then the rabbit. These pets do not tolerate overheating, direct sunlight, stuffiness, and at a temperature of 20 ° C they will feel great. Excessive levels of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide in the air, dampness, high humidity, and drafts are harmful to them. By the way, these animals do not sweat. The most comfortable temperature for them: 18-20 ° C, humidity 50%. Through the veins on the ears, heat is exchanged. If the pet does not tolerate heat, then you can wipe his ears with a rag dipped in cold water. If you cool your ears, then the rabbit itself will feel better. The cage can be covered with a wet towel, and you can also put a plastic bottle with pieces of ice in the cage.
At home, the rabbit should be kept in a cage. These are fearful animals, with a fragile spine, hold them tight in your arms. A rabbit may even die if a person releases him from his hands from a certain height. The animal does not need to communicate with the cat and dog, because they can start chasing the pet, and such races are harmful to him. Do not have a pet if the family is a baby. The children’s curiosity pushes them to grab the animal by the ears, by the skin, as a result, the rabbit, having experienced such shocks, can get sick.
Since decorative rabbits are gentle creatures, they can catch a cold from a draft and die from stuffiness. Do not put the cage with a rabbit in the sun. The animal may make a noise, so in the morning you need to fix in the cage a grain feeder, a tray, a manger for hay. If the equipment is loose, it will be played by the feeder and everything else. The cell should always have a dry litter, it must be laid at the bottom of the cell. For litter, straw or sawdust is suitable. At least 3 times a week, you need to clean and change the litter. Gastric diseases are often caused by dirty and wet litter.
Rabbits are neat, so you should wash the tray daily. Know that the pet will not go into the dirty tray, but will equip a new toilet nearby. Someone does not like the smell of a pet, however, if you look after it, then there will be no smell.
The thickness of the litter layer in the cell should be three to five centimeters, the cage should be in a place protected from drafts and cold. Hay or wood shavings are perfect for litter. Young rabbits tend to turn over the feeder. Make your pet a hanging feeder or a ceramic feeder (the latter will be heavier and difficult to turn over).
Decorative rabbits constantly need clean fresh water. It would be ideal to install an automatic rodent drinker in a cage. Pets do not need walks, however, in the warm season they can be led out for a walk on the grass (wear leashes on them).
When you open the cage and release the animal – in order to avoid drafts, you will need to close all doors and windows. When the pet walks, watch him so that he does not accidentally get injured. Remember that if the rabbit runs around the apartment, then get ready to clean it. Be sure to clean the cage on time, otherwise there will be a strong smell both in the room and from the animal itself.
To prevent the formation of tangles in long-haired rabbits, periodically comb out their hair.
The cage should be spacious – four times the size of the animal. There should be enough space in the cage for a tray, drinking bowls, feeders, a house for rest. Take the plastic cage tray. The lattice tray is not suitable, because the rabbit’s paws will not be able to adapt to such a tray. Do not pour sawdust or straw into the bottom of the cage so that the rabbit does not constantly go to the toilet throughout the cage. The cage should have a non-slip bottom. You can pour straw, paper, sawdust, shavings from deciduous trees into the tray. A heavy ceramic bowl is suitable for grain feed. Fasten the drinker and nursery for hay to the bars of the cage.
The choice of cages for a decorative rabbit
Cages for a decorative rabbit
For decorative rabbits, a huge cage is not needed. The standard size of the cage for them is 1m. The cage size for the largest individuals should be up to 140cm. Over time, the animal grows, and if you bought a small cage, then the pet will feel constrained, get sick from a motionless seat. Keep in mind that an adult pet spends a lot of time in the cage, and not just sleeps. To maintain the hygiene of the animal, a grate on the pallet is required. Convenient drinking bowls, feeders, a sennik will also be needed. You can install a house in the cage, but it makes sense to do this only in the spacious cages where dwarf rabbits live. For a pregnant rabbit, you can temporarily install a house in the cage, in it she will arrange a place for rabbits.
Choosing a place for a rabbit
Do not put a cage with a rabbit near the battery, near air conditioners. For these pets, any overheating carries a danger. At a temperature of 20 ° C, the rabbits will be very comfortable. Animals are afraid of other pets, a computer, a TV, bright sunlight, drafts.
It would be ideal to place the cage away from noise sources and from the window. It is important that the place is bright and calm. Do not fit the entrance hall, kitchen, corridor. When ventilating a room – avoid drafts. If you put the cage on the loggia, then increase the likelihood of overheating of the animal. Keep in mind that the loggia should have good ventilation and a suitable temperature regime.
For owners of private houses, you can make an aviary with a canopy and enclose it with a small fence. So the animal will not be afraid of either rain or overheating, and you can let the rabbit out for a walk in the summer on the street.
Rabbit cage cleaning
The cell should be cleaned regularly. Clean the tray a couple of times a week. In the tray you need to sweep and replace the filler. Periodically wash the cell using a disinfectant. Street cells need to be washed weekly. Due to the fact that dirt is attractive to flies – in the summer, cells wash more often. To simplify cleaning, put a pot in the cage and wash it regularly. Every day you need to conduct surface cleaning. While the rabbit is walking, clean it in a cage. It is important to remove excess wool and hay, wash the drinker, and shake the hay.
Disinfectants are used for thorough cleaning, however, it is important to understand that pets have a high sensitivity to chemicals.
Delegol is perfect for cleansing the cell. Attached is an instruction. Before cleaning the cage with chemicals, move the pets to another cage or to another place.
The rabbit may show a runny nose, sneezing, tearing – and all due to the time of uncleaned hair. The rabbit owner may be allergic to dust and dirt. Flies also have no place in the cage. You need to take care of the pet.
The rabbit is a clean animal. From the rabbit there is almost no smell. The cage may smell like bedding and food. The owners will need to regularly clean and disinfect the cage, change the litter in the sleeping house, as well as the filler in the place for the toilet. If the rabbit is sexually mature, the chair is broken or the cleaning regimen is not respected, then the smell of the rabbit becomes more noticeable. There is nothing to be done with the smell of a mature rabbit, and other reasons can be easily eliminated. Having matured, individuals (both females and males) mark the territory, scatter feces in the cage and in the apartment.
Bathing pets will not eliminate the smell, because secretion products, not skin secretions, are sources of smell. The rabbit can independently clean its coat of odor or any impurities.
If you do not intend to breed pets, then you can sterilize them. If you want offspring – often clean in the cages. A solution of potassium permanganate is suitable for cleaning. Laundry detergents, dishwashing detergents, and cleaning products are not suitable for cleaning cages — their use will adversely affect the health of the rabbit.
Rabbit walks at home
For rabbit health, movement is important. Even a huge cell will limit the pet’s mobility, and this will lead to nervous disorders, joint diseases, and a decrease in immunity. To keep the animal healthy, let him walk around the apartment for at least 20 minutes a day. Make sure that there are no jars of detergents, cords, power cables, poisonous indoor plants in the apartment. Make sure that there are no small gaps, because a curious animal can get stuck there. Keep an eye on your pet’s movement, especially if you don’t know its addiction and behavior. And do not leave even old rabbits unattended for a long time.
The rabbit needs toys, otherwise he himself will find toys from household items. As a result, various objects gnawed into pieces will be lying in the apartment.
You can increase the area for walking daily, but usually one room is enough for him. It is quite difficult to completely secure the entire apartment.
During the walk, the cage should be kept open – if the pet needs something, then he should easily get home. The tray can be removed from the cage. It is important to teach the rabbit to use the toilet in the tray.
On the street, the rabbit needs to be walked exclusively in clean places, otherwise it can eat up dirty grass. After a walk, inspect the rabbit for ticks.
The basis of the diet should be hay, clean water, animal feed, twigs, special mineral stones. Compound feed is granules with a complex of necessary substances. When choosing between special feeds and compound feeds, give preference to the latter. So that pets grow well – they are given not only feed. A decorative rabbit may not immediately eat pellets, because it first feasts on delicious grains, and then on to everything else. It is important not to remove the granules, as they regulate digestion and are important for rabbit teeth. Rabbits are given 1 tablespoon of feed 3 times a day. Adult rabbits are given 1-1.5 tablespoons 2 times a day. There should be a lot of hay in the cell. Keep the hay in the cage all the time. Eating hay forms a good feces, helps to grind teeth. You can occasionally give a white cracker. Twigs of pear, birch, willow, apple tree, oak, poplar, aspen are suitable for grinding teeth. In summer, you can give a few leafy twigs with leaves, in winter – coniferous branches. Rinse and dry the branches well, and collect them in unpolluted areas. Chalk, salt or vitamin stone will provide the rabbit with minerals and vitamins. Chilled boiled water is the perfect complement to your pet’s diet. Water must be clean and always present. Once every 1-1.5 days, water should be changed. Rabbits are not fed parsley and dill due to the high content of essential oils. A decorative rabbit is suitable for chamomile, yarrow, mouse peas. It is not worth giving alfalfa a lot. Herbs are introduced into the diet one leaf. If you find an upset stomach, immediately remove the herbs from the diet. Rabbits are fed with herbs and fruits starting from 4 months. Herbs need to be divided into small bunches, and fruits – cut into tiny pieces.
So, the main products are hay, feed and water. Additives – greens, fruits, vegetables. In the summer, it is not at all necessary to completely replace hay with fresh herbs. Also read in a detailed article how and how to properly feed a decorative rabbit.
Diseases and vaccinations for rabbits
Vaccinations for rabbits
Decorative rabbits suffer from infectious stomatitis, staphillococcosis, myxomatosis, infectious rhinitis, pasteurellosis, coccidiosis. Also, animals suffer from intestinal disorders (constipation in rabbits is not uncommon), eye diseases, ears can hurt, and excessive tooth growth causes problems. Helminthic infestations can lead to the death of a pet. Three to four times a year, the animal should be anthelmintic, even if it does not exist in nature and does not go anywhere. Vaccination helps protect the pet from any infectious disease. For more information, see rabbit vaccination.
It will not be amiss to vaccinate pets against paratyphoid, rabies, listeriosis, pasteurellosis. Mandatory vaccines against HBVC (viral hemorrhagic disease) and against myxomatosis. There are vaccines that help protect against several diseases at once.
Once a year, you need to do a comprehensive vaccine against miscomatosis and HBV. It can be done using one ampoule. When there will be outbreaks of other diseases in the region, then vaccinate the decorative rabbit.
At six weeks, rabbits are given the first vaccine against HBVC. If there is a threat of an epidemic, then four-week-old pets can be vaccinated. Three months later, the next vaccine is given from VGBK. Every six months, the vaccination should be repeated.
It is necessary to vaccinate against myxomatosis from April to October, since fleas, mosquitoes, and other blood-sucking insects transmit this disease in the warm season. There is no need to vaccinate a pet in the winter from myxomatosis. At least two weeks should pass between vaccinations with separate vaccines for myxomatosis and for HBV. It is undesirable to vaccinate nursing females and pregnant rabbits. If the pet becomes infected, then it is pointless to vaccinate, because this will not affect the disease. Only healthy animals can be vaccinated. After vaccination, you need to keep the decorative rabbit in quarantine for two weeks – during this time the vaccine will begin to act, and the animal will not become infected. It is advisable to deworm the pet ten days before vaccination. You can do vaccinations yourself or go to a veterinary clinic. But, if you vaccinate a rabbit, then be sure to follow the vaccination schedule.
Rabbits have sex
Key signs of puberty:
- The pet has become aggressive, overly active;
- He doesn’t go to the toilet, but to where he wants;
- Females and males begin to actively dig the floor, bottom of the cage, carpet;
- Mark territory;
- The manifestation of a false pregnancy: a rabbit can pull out fluff, carry hay in a certain place;
- A pet can pester pets, a person.
- There are no drugs to reduce the sexual activity of rabbits. Output: castration or sterilization.
- Castration can also be carried out for a ten-week-old rabbit, but veterinarians recommend a five-month-old animal. Castration is a simple operation. Sterilization can only be carried out by a six-month-old rabbit. Performing this operation involves the removal of the uterus, both ovaries.
- It’s better to do the operation for a young rabbit, as he has few health problems. The procedure will be dangerous for the old rabbit. Due to the fact that rabbits are difficult to tolerate anesthesia – before these operations were considered incredibly dangerous. But now for this purpose there is a new generation of anesthetics.
The value of the game for rabbits
The rabbit needs to be played daily. If there is no entertainment – he will peel the wallpaper. You can’t let a pet run around the apartment without supervision – he can get hurt or go to the toilet in the corner. For decorative rabbits there are different toys: a balloon, a ball with a rattle inside, a cardboard box with holes, a linen or cotton rag, wooden carrots for a tooth point, a cardboard component of toilet paper. For the rabbit, you can arrange a fenced aviary or playpen.